Our music program is inclusive, catering to individuals of varying abilities, and we strive to provide tailored opportunities for those with exceptional talents to reach their fullest potential. Each year we have children who prepare for scholarships at Senior Schools across the United Kingdom.
The Music Department finds it home in a bespoke building and is a bustling hub of activity. Presently, 91% of students in the Upper School and 53% of those in P2/3 are skilled in playing at least one musical instrument.
Within the school’s premises, our team of 15 dedicated peripatetic specialist teachers provides over 220 music lessons each week. These professionals bring their passion for music to every session they conduct.
From P2, children can receive one-on-one music lessons tailored to their interests. Parents can also consult with the Director of Music to select the most suitable instrument for their child. F7/8 students are given a short scheduled time to practice their instruments. In addition, F4/6 students can participate in practice club sessions during afternoons to ensure they have enough time to play every day.
Students who wish to take practical music exams (ABRSM and Trinity) can do so within the school every term. Theory classes are also popular and are an opportunity for children to prepare for theory exams up to Grade 5, which are conducted thrice a year within the school.
As soon as children in the Upper School are able to, we encourage them to join a music group and rehearse during our morning break times. Different groups are offered each term to broaden the musical experiences and opportunities available and cater to the instrumentalists in each year. In a typical school year, the weekly music groups within the school are as follows:
Spring Term (focus on Scottish Music):
Music and singing are integral components of school life, as every student participates in age-specific choirs. Furthermore, in Form 7 and Form 8, pupils are members of our thriving Chapel Choir, which meets regularly to rehearse for bi-weekly services, concert performances, and special school events such as Remembrance Day, Advent, and Christmas Carol Services. One of the most anticipated events during the Summer term is the Choir Tour, which takes place every other year.
In 2022, our talented choir showcased their skills at various venues, including Brinkburn Priory, St Cuthbert’s Parish Church in Edinburgh, Rothbury Parish Church, and a local care home. Over the years, the choir has also graced other esteemed venues like Rosslyn Chapel, Lindisfarne Priory, and Durham Cathedral.
Children who are learning to play an instrument are presented with various opportunities to perform that are tailored to their increasing confidence and musical abilities. To share their achievements with friends and family, online Mini Concerts are held each Friday during term, while live performances are available at Poetry Recitals and the end-of-year P3 concert, both of which provide a supportive audience. Our most experienced soloists perform during Thursday Chapel services and at whole-school concerts, while our most skilled musicians have the chance to attend performance masterclasses with visiting musicians and participate in external concerts.
Our school culture values group performances, as seen with Form 4’s & 5’s ensemble recorder playing. Each term, we have whole-school concerts featuring our musical groups, with the vast majority of Upper School children participating. The Pipe Band is an important contributor to our school’s performances, appearing at our Remembrance Day Service and Summer Fair, as well as occasional external performances throughout the year.
Our students actively participate in a variety of events at senior schools, such as Kilgraston’s Strings Day, Glenalmond’s Choral Day, and Fettes’ Orchestral Day. Additionally, our young musicians frequently take part in external opportunities, including the SSCOT Play-away Days, EYO Orchestral week, and Easter and Summer courses.
For our most talented performers, auditioning for the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland is a notable achievement.
Our team of peripatetic teachers consists of highly qualified and experienced individuals, and we consider ourselves lucky to have them: